I made another Closet Case Kalle…to add to dress one, two, three and four and the one shirt I already have. It is an absolute favourite pattern (along with pretty much all the Closet Case patterns I’ve made). This is my first long-sleeved version using the expansion pack.
FABRIC AND CUTTING
The fabric came from one of the smaller Tomato stores in Nippori Tokyo and it was a love at first sight fabric. It’s a Japanese-made, cotton-linen blend and one of the most unusual fabrics I’ve seen and worked with. It is a sort of seersucker but the puckery squares are only on every second row and then every second square (the white ones). It turns out that this makes it a puckery nightmare to sew which didn’t occur to when I bought it- not that it would have stopped me buying it if I had thought about it.
This is a straight size 8 as all my others have been with the same changes to the hem. I used a single layer layout over 2m and cut the outer yoke, outer cuffs, main placket and upper collar on the bias. I had a small section left over to make bias tape. The inner collar stand and cuffs are cut from black Nani Iro Beau Yin Yang cotton sateen.
The fabric is slightly sheer so I used a very lightweight cotton lawn to line it. It’s attached at the top of the dress and around the armscye then hangs free and stops just above the highest hem point at the sides. I also added in-seam pockets with the tops placed a couple of inches above the side-seam notches.
I decided to embroider this one before I started construction (as opposed to after for my first Kalle) and used a small scrap for a bit of experimentation. I tried rice stitch, crosses and chained feather stitch. The crosses worked best with the geometry of the fabric. Sashiko thread is easy to work with because of the tighter twist and the matt appearance works with the linen well.
There were a few hours spent sitting happily embroidering all 3 plackets, the upper collar and the lower sections of the dress front and back. I did use wash-away stabiliser on the wrong side to make it easier to get the tension and distribution right.
It was also needed when sewing the buttonholes over the embroidery to stop the foot catching as it moved over the top.
Sewing in straight lines on this fabric was tricky to say the least because of uneven gathering but the construction was pretty straightforward and the same as previous versions despite that. The fabulous Closet Case drafting and instructions always really help. I changed the construction order slightly because of the lining and closed the side seams before setting the sleeves in.
I also made some red piping which I used at the bottom of the inner collar stand.
I did end up taking the side seams in slightly which I think was because of the stretchiness of the fabric- there just seemed to be a bit too much compared to my previous Kalles and this could only be because of the fabric.
As an experiment I added small drawstring casings to the side seams the wrong side. They run from just under the pockets to the hem. They give a bit more shape and a slight cocoon shape to the dress when they are pulled up.
I made quite wide bias binding (1 and 6/8 inch bias strips) to finish the bottom edge which is more difficult to curve round the corners but it does hide the wrong side of the embroidery on the dropped hem.
I love the five hole buttons which come from & Stripe in Tokyo.
- So here it is, Kalle number five, a super satisfying, slow sew with a definite Japanese twist.
- I love the long sleeves, folded cuffs and tower plackets.
- I find myself wearing it with the drawstrings pulled up more than down.
- Embroidering in advance is the way to go. I want to do more of this on future makes.
- Five Kalle dresses is still not enough! 🙂